Business News of Thursday, 3 December 2015
The Integrated Social Development Center (ISODEC) has described as a misplaced priority, a new pro-poor policy that will see government provide free digital TV boxes to vulnerable households.
Communications Minister, Dr. Omane Boamah, who announced the policy in Parliament on Wednesday, explained that it is part of the process to migrate from analogue to digital broadcasting.
Dr. Omane Boamah however did not mention how much the new programme will cost the tax payer.
Contributing to debates on the 2016 budget, Dr. Boamah reiterated that the full migration will be completed in 2016.
But Senior Budget Analyst at ISODEC, Charlotte Afudego, believes the resources should rather be used to cushion the poor against the effects of government’s austerity measures.
“If you are reducing spending, definitely you have to prioritize certain things that are most important and will generate the needed development. Government has plans of covering people who are extremely poor by 2017 with this LEAP programme. But even what the 2016 budget has provided; that is about 250,000 people which you are not sure that you will be able to cover them by 2017. So instead of providing these digi-boxes, why won’t rather expand the LEAP more” he asked.